I know I promised a review of this in my last wrap up, I did mean to post it quickly but time got away from me this week. Anyways… This was one of my favourite reads this year. I rarely do “one more chapter and then…” at 2am like I did when I was 12, because I have a job in the morning and I’m always tired, but this was one of THOSE books that I had to force myself to put down.
This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire — or die trying.
When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.
Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.
When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.
Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.
This book was devastating, and I loved it. I had to ask a friend if any of the good ones died, before I could make myself finish it. That’s how terrified I was. (Spoilers: there are no dead gays in this book. go ahead and enjoy it!)
The universe this is set in is absolutely awful, with a tyrant at the head of the galaxy, and everyone being mind controlled or brainwashed into thinking everything is ok. Those characters have… a lot of trauma.
And at the same time, it was a joyous read, a comfort read almost. To see, as they call it, a space Mad Max: Fury Road, where a bunch of women of different backgrounds and with different (all traumatic) pasts (and one man) fight for something better. It gives hope, in a way.
The authors made me care for all the characters so, so much. They’re relatable, they’re deeply wounded, and I wanted to give them all a hug. Every single one of them. It’s very hard to pick a favourite. They’re just all so, so well written, flaws and all. And I do love a book with mainly women.
I found especially on point the way their guilt at their actions still affected them, even though they had no choice (or very little choice) in the matter. There would be a lot more to say about war, and trauma, and tyranny, and I don’t think I’m capable of saying it in a coherent way, but the book certainly makes its point come across clearly. Just… *waves hands* go read it? you won’t regret it.